I make this soup on an almost weekly basis these days because the weather is so damp and cold and it is such a fantastic way of helping to warm your insides! Plus it is packed full of vegetables and nutrients so it is especially good if you have little people in your house who push the vegetables around on their plate at dinnertime telling you how much they hate carrots and broccoli. As long as you keep the quantities relative to each other, you can put almost any vegetable into this soup and it will taste great. I guarantee it! My daughters love it with fresh rolls or soda bread, in fact we all do and let’s face it we can always do with a few more nutrients in our diets!
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 leek, roughly chopped
3-4 sticks celery, roughly chopped
3-4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into quarters
1/4 sweet potato*, cut into chunks
3-4 sprigs broccoli
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 tsp mixed herbs to season
Salt and black pepper to season (optional)
1. Cover the base of a large saucepan with olive oil and heat over a medium heat, don’t let the pan get too hot otherwise the garlic will burn.
2. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook gently until they have softened.
3. Begin to add the chopped celery, leeks and carrots to the pot. Remember to keep the heat medium to low on the pan, as you want all of the vegetables to wilt and soften together, releasing all of their lovely flavours. You can leave them softening like this for a good fifteen minutes, simmering in their own juices.
4. While your vegetables are simmering together, (and at this stage releasing a lovely aroma throughout your kitchen) you can prepare your vegetable stock in a measuring jug.
5. Add the stock to the vegetables in the saucepan and begin to increase the heat. You now want to bring the soup to the boil.
6. Add the sweet potato, broccoli and potato to the pot and any seasoning and mixed herbs that you wish.
7. I let my soup boil for at least half an hour to make sure all of the hard vegetables are cooked through. You can reduce the heat slightly however to ensure all of the liquid doesn’t evaporate out of the pot. If it looks like the level of the liquid is getting too low, just add some water to the pot to make sure the vegetables are well covered.
8. When ready turn the heat off, allow the pot to cool slightly (about ten minutes or whenever you are ready, it doesn’t really matter) and blend. I use a hand blender but if you don’t have one you can transfer it into your food processor and blend it this way. Sometimes after blending if I find that the soup is too thick, I add more water again to thin it down, however in my house everyone loves thick-ish soup so at the end of the day it really comes down to personal preference.
9. Serve it with fresh bread or rolls and enjoy!
This soup will keep for up to three days in the fridge.